Monday, March 12, 2018

Weaving Minions

How I wish there were little yellow tittering beings doing all the grunt weaving work, sleying the reed, adjusting tension etc. Kind of like a small creepy equivalent of the pool boy....

What I am really referring to are all the small nameless weaving looms I seem to be adding into my collection. I am thoroughly enjoying the small weaving projects on them. So low stress, none requiring more than a bit of concentration and a short period of time. If I only have a small block of time I can keep my hands busy creating something.

On the small weaving front and a new addition is a custom made Kumihimo stand.

 This was made to be comfortable based on my height and chair and it is! I love it and makes trying out a new to me mode of weaving a success. It's so important to have good workable equipment for first attempts I've always found. The stand itself was made by Steve at Kumimojo as where the nifty bobbins. It came with all sorts of useful goodies. Well thought and well made. Thank you Steve!

I've also tried my hand out on card weaving. Hmm, that could be some sort of pun don't you think?

Anyway, the Leclerc Cendrel is doing duty as a card weaving loom and I'm really having fun with that too, although threading the cards was slow going for my first time out.

I purchased some really beautiful acrylic cards to try from HipStrings. For the sewists in the group they also make some beautiful acrylic french curves.

I really should be doing card weaving on this loom, made for it.

To be honest, the reach is too great for me to be comfortable. I am thinking about having a local craftsman cut that long extended arm down by about 10-12 inches and reset the dowel. I can't see keeping it around to look pretty. You know I have few qualms about putting tools out to greener pastures if I am not using them. I have also finally, after 9 years of weaving gotten someone to make me a warping board that allows my fist to pass through the dowel space without hitting my knuckles. It should be shipping this week. If anyone is interested there will be a pretty nice Leclerc Warping board available for PDC (pretty darn cheap).

And that brings me to the last little minion, a JK Seidel Scandinavian Style loom.

It is beautifully made but I don't love it. I find it awkward to use holding the tape instead of having it wrapped around a little cloth beam. It may just take more practice. I'll give it some additional time and see if we develop an affection for each other. If not, it too will go up for sale.

Earworm of the post. HA!

Parting shot: Who's comfy chair is it anyway?

commence with the ear worm cleaning!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Birthday Books

So, all I asked of Gene for my birthday was some new weaving library assets. I adore Swedish and Finnish weaving books and it makes no difference that I can't read a word of the language, the drafts are, for the most part, universal. So it was on birthday morning there was a big box of books of all my favorite titles! I may not use many of the drafts from any of them and many are similar, but the hours of inspiration they provide is priceless. I love the simplicity of many and the riot of color combinations of others. And then of course there was this confusing draft treading sequence.

 I got to ponder it while I walked about on birthday evening with sled dog wannabe Robin.


Highway 66 at driveway head

  It was quite a storm but nothing compared to what the east coast is getting or has gotten. Stay safe you guys!

Dear friend Cindie surprised me with a package of birthday goodies and the most beautiful dragonfly card, which is on the mantel, enjoyed every day. But look at the bag she sent. How perfect is that!

 It was stuffed with Jack Russell note pads and a cute dog pin, none of which was handy when I was snapping mug shots of the bag. Thank you Cindie, so, so much. That bag got a couple of compliments on it's first outing I might add.

I have long wanted to listen to books, I know most of you are WAY ahead of me on that front but I can't stand anything in my ears. So this nifty little speaker/phone set up was procured, I signed up to Audible and we're on our way.

 It's lovely for sewing and weaving where I need to keep my eyes on the work but want something other than background music to entertain me.

There has been a fair amount of weaving going on. The Saori loom got another band warp on, I had to come up with a raddle solution and this is what worked.

 Gene cut one of my long warping sticks into 5" pieces and the warp was wound on with them. I even managed an itty bitty set of lease sticks.

Saori gets a lot of things right and I appreciate their whole inclusive methodology, BUT geez, I don't really want to spend $400. plus on a set up to thread and wind on when really, lease sticks and raddle will do. I just don't do front to back threading and sleying. Did you guys notice the tablet/card weaving titles in the book booty?

Fiona is up and weaving and is the same threading as just about every Swedish Rosepath in my new books, so I've got 4 yards of play time ahead.

I wasn't going to make more Patricia Rose garments but the deer fabric cried out for it and there was just a small amount available. Plus the pink goes to orchid and this curated last summer mod flower fabric had just the right color.

The front bodice of this pattern provides for small interesting showcase fabrics. I had one waiting in the bucket too, this one sleeveless.

It makes a very nice summer top, shortened and with bias bound arm holes.

I had so little of this tomato fabric I couldn't even coax binding out of what was left.

My Mother who doesn't shop anymore ( but she still likes to lunch!), wanted me to buy something from her for my birthday, so I ordered a heap of sale linen in summer weights and colors from

 You can hold your items at sale price for a few days and since different things are on sale veery day you can get a pretty good variety at good prices.

So, that brings us to this posts song. I'm in love all over again with this. How about you?

Parting shot: Oh dear! How does this happen? Makes bed head seem so much less catastrophic huh?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Disappearing Dog Deep

Please add about 17" depth to this pic now

Yep, snow, deep enough now to lose a few dogs excepting the bark, of course! The dogs all pretty much like the snow except Pogo and Mandy but even they have a bit of fun on a sunny afternoon when it's warm and melty. We've had one of those. The rest of the time it has been bitter cold and unsettled.
Highway 66 quite early one morning.

 This is where they prefer to spend the day. The rug of rotating sleepers.

Pogo & Hazel

 Leaves more room on the comfy chair bundled under the blanket. Gene has plowed three times and hey, March is coming in like a lion. I always notice since the first day of this month is my birthday. Today I turn 60. Frankly, I'm not thrilled. It is only a number, a pretty flipping big number. ;-)  I think I'll just stay 49 and some months thank you very much!

I've diddled around in the sewing salon, cutting out new to me patterns

 and sewing up one blouse that, for a couple of reasons, just didn't send me. The pockets made it wide, the shirt tail hem is rarely a favorite with me and the whole thing just felt too short. In other words "meh".  This was the Linnet pattern.

Then I started in on the Bolero Blouse, the Lois Ericson pattern.

I have just enough of that bug fabric to make a Webster top from instead.

The shell is unremarkable and honestly rather ill fitting. A better choice to pair with the cute bolero layer would be the Cashmerette Webster . Now the Bolero layer itself is saved by that amazing collar. I love the collar. The jacket itself is too short or maybe I just don't remember the days when those bunnies sat MUCH higher in their hutch without a mechanical engineering degree or a plastic surgeon...... It has been a goodly number of years since I could wear any old lacy thing and call it enough support. Two inches easy and maybe even three need to added to the overall length. The sleeves set in nice but they are too long and taper down to a tight cuff. I hate not being able to push up my sleeves. Easy fixes though and this will be made again.

A cute new fabric came in the mail from South Korea and a another new pattern from France.

 No, these are not a match, just thrown together for economy of picture taking. That blouse pattern is calling for some smooth fine linen. As to the hedgehogs, who knows where they will turn up.

The weaving front has been slightly more active. I received the 12lbs of natural 4/2 yarn from Earth Guild.

 I love the weight and the price was pretty nice too. Perfect for a run of 3 double wide blankets.
I bought myself PixieLoom as a weaving program ( I never could get into Proweave), and have had it take a simple Swedish Rosepath and use it for the double weave. It will take 8 shafts and 12 treadles. I've got it covered on either the Macomber or the Spring. Likely it will go on the Spring since I have a couple inches more width. If a 48 or 56 inch Macomber ever comes up for sale in this area I would snag it and sell the 40. There is a 64" one locally but it is simply too big for my space and I doubt I want to lift those big shafts.

The yellow band is off the Saori loom. Matches the linen perfectly. I am enjoying these small weaving tools more than I ever thought I would.

The Leclerc inkle loom Has been seeing some action lately too. I have findings to make eyeglass leashes on hand! And lastly Fiona the wolf pup is almost threaded on her little warp.

The day I bought that old waterfall cedar chest I had no idea it would be the perfect height for weaving and such for the looms, but it is and I am grateful I came across it so many years ago.

Regardless of the weather I'm still getting at least two after meal walks in. Especially in the winter you can hear the wind moving through the trees heading for you or passing you by 50 yards or so away. Watch the trees wagging their tops to and fro, imagining birds holding on for dear life or maybe enjoying the wild ride? Walking in these conifer forests is so different from most Northeastern deciduous ones. Fuller, closer, prettier and more alive. Where wind whistles like far off shrieks from the grave, our forest whispers and rustles, alive and protective. With that, here is a classic from Paint Your Wagon. Enjoy!

Parting shot: Finally, my turn.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February Masquerading as December

It would seem like it. Cold, snowy and blustery. I don't really much care when our snowpack arrives as long as it does. It is a mere shadow of what we are use to having, but some is better than none.

Yesterday I took all 7 of the dogs down for canine influenza shots. Good grief, I don't ever want to do that again if I don't have to. Jack and Spike whined and chattered their teeth the whole way down in their crates. Robin "trilled" from his and threw up. Hazel just threw up and for good measure pooped on the way home in her crate. Pogo was a good silent crate rider and the two queens, Stella and Mandy slept together on the front seat. I suppose it was good practice for an evacuation. I have more room than I thought in the Outback. Love my Subaru!

The weekend was spent working on the new to me Marilla Walker Isca dress/tunic pattern.

 I am smitten and actually quite impressed with the drafting and such on this pattern.

It was fun to make, a little challenging and the fit as actually perfection for a first run through.

Handwoven inkle band.

 I shortened my wearable muslin quite a bit and I kept thinking of Gone with the Wind since this linen is the very last of my old curtains!

I've had a lot of fun seeking out some new and different patterns.

LOVE that crossover collar!
 I found this oldie quite by accident on Etsy (where else?) and since I had such good luck with the Java Jacket I figured why not.

For those looking for a Mom update, she is completing her 3rd round of chemo today and then they will do a scan to see how much it has spread and where. She is getting her custom made wig today. I offered to pay for a head tattoo if she wanted it. She declined. ;-) She has tolerated the chemo well. A bit run down, the cough is persistent but not surprising considering the cancer has spread to her lungs.  I have my own doctors appt. Monday for a check-up and then I'm going to swing up to the manor and pick up her up for a wee bit of shopping and an early lunch somewhere nice.

On our walk this morning with Spike and Robin we followed bobcat tracks! And since it is snowing
I'll leave you with this classic ear worm by Simon and Garfunkel.

Oh and those young adults from Parkland Florida, you are all awesome. No one calls out BS like Emma Gonzalez.

Parting shot: Shots!


Saturday, February 17, 2018


Which means something silly and funny all at once. In my case, catching mice in the tack room in a tall 5 gallon bucket and releasing them every morning in the woods. It usually involves stumbling around in the dark, goats bleating louding in the driveway waiting for their food and wondering if I am indeed catching the same mouse or two or are there really THAT many of them around the barn? The barn cat is terrified to go outside since the mysterious disappearance of Juno and frankly, who would blame her. So I toss her out during the day and bring her in before dusk, usually waiting pressed to the side of the basement door. Sigh. Maybe someday I'll be in a bind in the woods and the Mouse King will come to my rescue. HA!

I had boatloads of fun with the Sew House Seven Nehalem Pants.

 I was unsure if it was worth the effort and then low and behold, I love them! I am making a few changes, like a bit of elastic in the back and maybe trimming just a bit down in the width of the leg, but otherwise, they are cute and comfortable and another pair is already cut out.

Today I'm working on the new Marilla Walker Isca dress, which I've shortened into a tunic. This is a muslin and there is no point in wasting a ton of fabric if it doesn't go well. Pics when done unless of course it is such a horrific mess it must be disposed of immediately.

I had a wonderful lunch out with a good friend and when we finally parted I found out this was happening in my neck of the woods.

cresting the Greensprings Summit
and sliding down the other side.
 It was, as I like to say, slickery. Thursday dawned cold and clear, the roads were plowed and rocked and not too terrible awful if you watched your speed. It was icey though all the way into the valley with temps holding in the high 20's F.

FedEX did manage to get to my house and drop off this little gem. Cindie thinks it looks like a luggage rack and well, it does, a very high end expensive one!

I am squandering all that Saori feel good weaving and using it right now as a band loom. I had looked and looked for a while now for an old Heritage two treadle inkle loom and decided I should just reverse engineer my needs. A narrow two shaft counterbalance loom. Who makes one of those I thought..hmmmmmmmmm. Then of course, like the hot kiss at the end of a wet fist it came to me.
(Note Firesign Theater line, Oh Nicky Nick Nick I miss you!)
The thing weighs 15 pounds. Lighter than luggage!

Instead of leaving you with music, I'll leave you all with this piece of silliness that I grew up on.
I (still), know most of the lines from this and many others. Enjoy!

Parting shot: Stop, Dop and Roll. Mandy's MO when it's time to go out.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Lately I've been binge watching Poldark.  PBS has some of the best series around IMHO. I  caught a Poldark one night (probably season 3), and it caught my attention. I found season 1&2 on Amazon and have been watching one or two nightly. Beats the news these days hands down.

Also on the bingeing list has been author Juliet Marillier who is a New Zealander and writer of adult and young adult fantasy. Escapism at it best. I think I'm on her 5th book so far.

In amongst the binge watching and reading, the towel warp on the big Macomber has finally started.

I have to tell you weaving with hemp is a bit fussy and rough. I'm not sure how these will turn out but what the heck, it will have been a learning experience from start to finish!

The sewing salon has seen some action too. I made another Java Jacket as a vest, reusing the double sided wool from a Soho coat I hated and adding some other fun wool scraps along the way.

 I went down a size and I really need to go down another. I was afraid to with the thick fabric but I will refit the whole pattern next time around using summer weight linen. That's the plan at least, for now.

One of the new Linnet Japanese patterns got a work out too. I ditched the collar, I always do. I as impressed with the sleeve fit and the overall shape. This is a wearable muslin and there will be a few additional minor tweaks, but I'm pretty happy with it right out of the envelope. These patterns are well written in English.

I have a new pants pattern (Sew House Seven Nehalem Pants), cut and ready to hit the sewing table after I finish this blog post.

There just hasn't been much going on. We're all getting mighty worried about the upcoming fire season. We have had NO SNOW and there is no snowpack. Rainfall has been pretty scant too.
Scary stuff but might as well have some fun with it now. I leave you with this catchy rain song from The Weather Girls!

Parting shot: Pillow Pups!